What I am packing in my hospital bag

With my second child due in a couple of months, I decided to review all the fun labor and delivery info available out there – most recently Pinterest. There are lots of different posts about “what to pack” and some of them seem a bit much, to me. People and hospitals are different, so to each her own, but this is what worked for us last time, and what I will be packing this time. I would take a tour of your labor and delivery unit and ask questions. Sometimes you have a shared room, sometimes they are small, sometimes you have a shower or a bath, sometimes you don’t. Also, sometimes your recovery room doesn’t have a lot of extra room and some hospitals don’t allow husbands to stay the night. We stayed at our hospital one night – other hospitals require two. If you have a c-section, you will probably stay 3 days. All these factors may effect your packing list.

packing list

 
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He’s Here! Birth Story

I haven’t been on the computer much these last few weeks because our handsome little man has been keeping me busy! Gabriel Joseph was born on May 12th, at 5:22am. We named him after Marc’s father, Joseph Gabriel (which we planned even before we knew we were having a boy) and it just so happens, they share the same birthday as well! Gabriel also decided to make his appearance the day before mother’s day (the day before I was due), so it was an extra special weekend.

Dad holding his son for the first time

Gabriel is currently asleep, snuggled onto my chest; the perfect spot to give lots of baby kisses. We are absolutely in love with him and think he is the sweetest thing ever. He is quite alert, even in the beginning, but he has been quite kind in the sleep department at night. In fact, there has only been 2 sleep-deprived nights, and that was a result of food I ate that didn’t sit well with him (broccoli the first time and Chinese food the second time). He sleeps 2.5-4 hour stretches at night, and usually goes to sleep easily after being changed and fed. We feel truly blessed!

Now onto our birth story, which is not sugar coated, may be a little TMI for some, but it’s the honest truth (click the “more” link under the picture to continue reading)

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Nursery sneak-peak: Refinished furniture

The nursery is just about all completed. I need to put some pictures in frames, but I didn’t want to do the big reveal until I got some sweet baby pictures in them. But I will share with you some of the projects!

We decided to try and find a long dresser to use as a changing table and when looking on Craigslist was a bust, I made plans to hit some yard sales. Marc had never, ever, even once, been to a yard sale! We use to go quite often when we were children, but I hadn’t gone in some time. Luckily for my husband, the first yard sale we hit was a success! We brought home a dresser AND a nightstand for $30!

I sanded, primed, and used a sample size jar of paint to do the night stand. I am stashing all my breast-feeding supplies and burp cloths there since it is near the glider. Remember when I repainted the glider and said how great those sample sizes of paint were? Well, the size and cost is awesome, but the paint quality is not. I realized this after I painted the dresser. I bought a quart of satin paint for the dresser and the difference was HUGE. I didn’t even sand most of the dresser, just primed it, and it only needed one full coat of paint and some touch ups. All the other pieces of furniture I did with the sample paints had about 3 coats and still needed touch ups.

I really wish I would have taken a real “before” picture of the dresser. The old drawers only give you a snapshot. I LOVE how the dresser turned out! The blue was so lovely to work with and so pretty! I bought some regular knobs at Wal-mart and I just love how the dresser turned out.

We savedĀ  lots of money by going this route as well:

  • Nighstand: $10
  • Dresser: $20
  • Primer: $9 (and used for other projects)
  • Sample of orange paint: $3
  • Quart of blue paint: $16
  • 12 knobs: $14

For less than $100 we have two pieces of furniture! You can’t even buy a dresser for that much, and sometimes you can’t even find a night stand for less than $100!

Burp Cloths DIY Instructions and Variations

Last night I got the sewing bug and decided to make some more burp cloths for our little guy that should be here in just a few weeks. There are lots of different ways to make burp cloths, but it mostly boils down to two different variations:

Enhanced cloth diaper (to be used as burp cloth), where fabric is sewn onto the middle of the diaper, like HERE and HERE.

and for lack of a better description, a more “from scratch” or layered burp cloth. These burp cloths are usually shaped to fit around your shoulder, or in a rectangle, and utilizes different fabrics on one side and more absorbent fabric on the other side (or double sided flannel).

I made some of the second variety.

I love using Homemade by Jill’s basic template to get started. I like the curve because it allows the cloth to be up against your neck and over your should comfortably. I too, like to use flannel as my go-to pretty burp cloth fabric; I like how soft it is.

Decorative fabric to use for burp cloths:

  • Flannel (my favorite)
  • Fleece
  • Quilting or non-stretch cotton

Absorbent layer/side:

  • Another layer of flannel
  • Cloth diapers (prefolds or the 1-ply, thin layer kind, using 2 layers)
  • Terry cloth/recycled towel

Different variations:

  • Flannel on both sides
  • Flannel on both sides with a thin layer of cloth diaper or batting in the center
  • Flannel on one side, cloth diaper on the other
  • Flannel on one side, terry/towel on the other
  • Fleece on one side, terry/towel, or cloth diaper on the other side
  • Cotton fabric on one side, terry/towel, or cloth diaper on the other side

Directions:

Prewash all fabric and print out template

Cut out a layer of decorative fabric using template

Cut out the absorbent layer or side, or cheat like I do, and lay the decorative fabric wrong side up against it, and sew around the edges, leaving a spot open to turn right-side out.

Trim the edges and turn right-side out.

Tuck open edge inside and stitch around the whole burp cloth

And you are done!

Fleece and flannel burp rags

My Favorite Photo Album + Coupon!

When I got married, pictures were important but I had a limited budget. I opted for a photographer that I liked and that included a disc of images instead of a print package. I printed the ones I wanted and searched for a place to create a photo album. I finally settled on Blurb, and I am glad I did! I think I paid a 20th of what my photographer was offering!

My Blurb wedding album

By doing my own wedding album, I also was able to include where Marc proposed, our engagement pictures, and our honeymoon pictures! The album is 52 pages long with lots of color and lots of pictures. I chose a hardback book with a picture on the cover and the back. Blurb by far was most affordable and had the most options.

Don’t tell, but this is one of my planned Christmas presents for the new grandparents for Christmas after our little guy arrives. I think I will do his 1 year photo album from Blurb as well (you can also make cookbooks!).

Need another reason to make a photo album? Blurb is offering 15% off their new Facebook Photo Albums! How much easier could that get? Click HERE and use the code 15OFFBLURB to start one today!

15% off Blurb Books Offer: Make Your Own Blurb Book and Save 15% | Code: 15OFFBLURB | Dates: 1/1/12-3/31/12 | Promo code details: Offer valid through March 31st 2012 (11:59 p.m. your local time). A 15% discount is applied toward your product total. Maximum discount is USD $200.00. CAD/AUD $250, EUR 160 or GBP 140.00. This offer is good for one-time use, and cannot be combined with other promotional codes, gift cards, or used for adjustments on previous orders.

18 Days Until Christmas: A Gift for the Toddler

I’m becoming kind of a toy snob. I searched around quite a bit for an appropriate and safe toy for my adorable Godchild, Addison, who will be just shy of 1 years old come Christmas. I wanted to stay away from plastic and be as earth and baby friendly as possible.

I came across Dandelion’s Organic, Little House Shape Sorter.

Although I am not a huge fan of pastels, and I think that if they went with bright colors this could be better suited for both genders, I think this will be a great gift for Addison.

  • She can safely put any of these pieces into her mouth (which she does with everything anyways)
  • Machine washable
  • Different shapes for learning
  • and each shape has a unique property that should entertain her as well

Dandelion House Shape Sorter about to get wrapped for my Godchild!

You can purchase this toy from Dandelion’s site . I bought mine from Amazon.